April Election Results In

Paul Buzzell and Wendy Francour won the two Mequon-Thiensville Board of Education seats contested today.  Buzzell was top vote getter with 2789 votes, Francour garnered 2351 votes and Sid Terry received 1645 votes.

In Aldermanic District 5, Mark Gierl narrowly defeated Patrick Rochford by a 39 vote margin, 336-297.

In Aldermanic District 2, Robert Ashmore received 252 votes but 339 write-in votes were received.  The write-in votes will have to be tallied individually and certified before a winner can be determined.  Former mayor Connie Pukaite ran an aggressive write-in campaign in the weeks leading up to the election.

In the County Supervisor races in Mequon, Jennifer Rothstein retained her seat though challenged by Bruce Sipiora with a total of 310 votes to Sipiora’s 200; Justin Strom won the District 21 seat, defeating Bob Walerstein by a total of 384 votes to Walerstein’s 301 votes.

Congratulations to all the election winners and thanks to all who ran for their willingness to serve their community!

Ozaukee County, School Board, The City

Are You On the InformMT Mailing List?

InformMT just sent out a new newsletter.  If you didn’t receive it, join our mailing list so you don’t have to hunt for information–let it come to you!

The newsletter is sent via email approximately bi-weekly.  To subscribe, click on “Quick Contacts” at the top of this page.  Just scroll down and follow the instructions where it says to “Click HERE to be on our mailing list,” and then follow the prompts.


Video from School Board Candidate Forum Available

The March 24 candidate forum was attended by about 75 people.  If you missed it, you can view the results here!

School Board, School District, The Schools

Former Mayor Connie Pukaite Challenges Ashmore as a Write In Candidate

Former Mequon Mayor Connie Pukaite has jumped into the District 2 aldermanic race as a write-in candidate.

Asked to run by a group of citizens hoping to keep Robert Ashmore from walking onto the Common Council without competition, Pukaite has said “if elected, I will serve.”  For more information on the District 2 race, click here.

The City

Vote NOW or Request an Absentee Ballot

It’s not too soon to request your absentee ballot if you plan to be out of town on Election Day, April 1, 2014. You can also start voting NOW until March 28, in person during the normal hours of your City or Village Clerk’s office.

Requesting an absentee ballot is easy!

Click here to download a form to request an absentee ballot. The application must be mailed to the City Clerk in the municipality where you reside and received by March 27.

Mequon residents mail to:

Lee Szymborski, Clerk, City of Mequon
11333 N. Cedarburg Rd.
Mequon, WI 53092-1930

Thiensville residents mail to:

Dianne S. Robertson, Clerk
Village of Thiensville
250 Elm Street
Thiensville, WI 53092-1602

If you are not registered to vote, click here for more information about registration.

Ozaukee County, The City, The Schools, The Village

Reminder about Upcoming Candidate Forums

School Board Candidates: March 24

InformMT will host a forum for the three School Board candidates on Monday, March 24 at 7:00pm at the Lecture Hall at Homestead High School. If you have a question to be posed to the candidates, please email it to InformMT@gmail.com.

County Supervisor Races: March 28

The Ozaukee County League of Women Voters will host a candidate forum on Friday, March 28 from 7:00-8:30pm at the MATC Lecture Hall, 5555 W. Highland Road, Mequon.

Candidates from Districts 21 and 26 in Mequon and District 9 in Grafton will have the chance to answer questions and inform voters of their positions.

 The Mequon candidates are:

District 21: Justin Strom is running against former County Supervisor Bob Walerstein for the position being vacated by Nancy Szatkowski.

District 26: Incumbent Jennifer Rothstein is being challenged by Bruce Sipiora.

For a county supervisory district map, click here.




Ozaukee County, School Board, School District, The City, The Schools

MTSD Board Votes 5-2 for Budget Proposal

The Board of Education meeting March 17 had a rocky start as parents planning to comment on cuts to the Special Education budget were told they would have to wait until the Citizen Communication and Comment part of the agenda–after the vote would be taken.

Despite a motion by board member Cheryle Rebholz, Board President Mary Cyrier followed the guidance of district legal counsel and did not change the agenda as the meeting had already opened. After the tense opening and some disruptions, the Board and audience heard regular reports including that of Superintendent Demond Means.

Means acknowledged the communication which had come from many parents over the last several weeks about Special Education and explained that the District is looking at the reduction of staff based strictly on significant enrollment declines over the last three years.

However, he also acknowledged concerns about the quality of Special Education in the District and asked Asst. Superintendent Matt Joynt to comment on District plans to do an audit of Special Education programming aimed at identifying areas in need of improvement in response to concerns. This is intended to be an open process and will involve parents, teachers and administrators. He stressed the District’s desire to improve what is done for all students, which includes Special Education students.

Regarding the overall budget proposal, several board members commented on the difficulty of this decision. Kathryn Houpt, who worked extensively with Voices, said she did considerable research into the proposed Special Education reductions and supports them.

Members Gary Laev and Suzette Urbashich also commented on the difficulty of the decision, with Urbashich noting the particular challenge when it a appears one program or student group’s needs are pitted against another. She also agreed with the Administrative recommendation to do an audit, noting that Michelle Ferris, Director of Student Services, is new to the District and after she has completed this year would be an ideal time to use her expertise and gather data and input to more closely examine whether the current Special Education program is meeting the needs of the District.

There were comments from Gary Laev and Cheryle Rebholz challenging the recommendation to increase the Director of Communications position from 70% to 100% on the basis that results generated so far from the position have not justified such an increase.

The Board voted 5-2 in favor of the proposal, which can be viewed here in its entirety.

A number of parents stayed until after the vote and the next agenda item to share concerns. Several commented about their concern that it took this level of outcry to get the District to look more closely at achievement gaps by Special Education students as compared to other districts. Other comments related to a privacy law violation regarding an email sent to all parents, the importance of parental involvement in any review of Special Education programming, and concerns that the deficit is being made up on the backs of special education students. Another parent commented that no special education students were featured in the promotional video previewed by Executive Director of Communications Melissa McCready during the Superintendent’s report. One parent also commented on the video, noting that her daughter has had an excellent experience in the Special Ed program and has received outstanding support from teachers and other students.


School Board, School District, The Schools

Candidate Responses to Questions and Contact Info

In case you missed it in February, below are links to how candidates responded to questions posed by InformMT and their websites or links to other material about them (each supplied by the candidates). If you have additional questions to pose at the School Board Candidate forum on March 24, send them to InformMT at InformMT@gmail.com


MTSD Board of Education:

Paul Buzzell Responses      website: www.paulbuzzell.com/

Wendy Francour Responses     website: www.vote4wendyfrancour.com

Sid Terry Responses     email:   Sid.Terry.4.MTSD@gmail.com

District 5 Alderman:

Mark Gierl Responses     attachments: Brochure, flyer

Patrick Rochford Responses     website: www.mequondistrict5.com

School Board, The City, The Schools

Aldermanic District 5 Candidates’ Comments at March 11 CUW Forum

District 5 Alderman candidates Mark Gierl and Patrick Rochford faced off in front of a mostly student audience at Concordia University last Tuesday. Students led the forum and candidates answered a combination of prepared questions and questions from the audience. Highlights of their comments:

Rochford made the following points in his opening statement:

  • The only growth in Mequon’s population of late has been increased student enrollment at Concordia, creating a need for more graduate student housing off campus, as well as an increase to the tax base in the city.
  • He supports an intersection at I-43 and Highland Road, and
  • Supports continued growth for Concordia

Mark Gierl’s opening comments included:

  • The importance of public safety, noting his involvement with Block Watch in his neighborhood;
  • He supports intelligent development
  • Believes Concordia is the “key to the success of the city of Mequon”.

On what issues affect students and how to address them, the candidates responded as follows:

Gierl:  Loves the campus, and doesn’t see many issues. He hires CUW students as interns and feels the campus is a positive environment, nestled and safe with good amenities.

Rochford:   Acknowledges the need for nearby off-campus housing options and addressing what he terms a contentious relationship between the City and CUW, noting CUW is a “brain trust” in the community.

On the need for off-campus student housing:

Rochford:  Using a map, he noted the City’s study of the North Port Washington Road neighborhood that identified areas east of Port Rd. appropriate for mixed residential housing. He said there have been studies done and its “time to make a move.”

Gierl:  Acknowledged the lack of rental properties locally and shared a theme that came up several times during his comments, that CUW should talk to nearby residents first and get their input and support, rather than first going to the City and then to residents.

On why they are running for the election:

Rochford:  Was bothered by issues about infrastructure and education and the lack of civility he saw in the process locally. He is also concerned about the exclusion of CUW.

Gierl: Feels strongly that the process now in place for getting things done is “backwards”. Rather than first going to City staff, he suggested going to residents first to get their input on a proposed change or development. His recommendation is to start with who is affected and move forward from there.

I-43/Highland Road Interchange:

Gierl: In his conversations with about 98% of residents of the 5th District, people seem to be split 50/50. Advantages include convenience, reduction of traffic on Port Washington Road, and help to local businesses. He also believes the interchange will have an effect on crime in the area. He noted that change and growth are inevitable, and wants to see the results of the WisDOT study which is being partially funded by the City before weighing in.

Rochford: Supports the interchange and said there is no data to support the notion that crime will increase. He also cited the importance of off-loading traffic from Port Washington Road. He noted cost for the project would be high and is also interested in hearing the results of the WisDOT study.

Both candidates support a proposal to consolidate the City’s dispatch system by merging with a county-wide effort, and both agreed that the city should encourage CUW students to stay in the community.


The City

County Supervisor Candidate Forum Set for March 28

The Ozaukee County League of Women Voters will host a candidate forum on Friday, March 28 from 7:00-8:30pm at the MATC Lecture Hall, 5555 W. Highland Road, Mequon.

Candidates from Districts 21 and 26 in Mequon and District 9 in Grafton will have the chance to answer questions and inform voters of their positions.

The Mequon candidates are:

District 21:  Justin Strom is running against former County Supervisor Bob Walerstein for the position being vacated by Nancy Szatkowski

District 26:  Incumbent Jennifer Rothstein is being challenged by Bruce Sipiora

For more information, click here.  For a county supervisory district map, click here.

Ozaukee County